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The World Health Professions Alliance speaks for more than 41 million health professionals worldwide, and is the only alliance which convenes knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.

EB138 Agenda Item 10.1 - Health workforce and services

WHA year

January 2016

Honourable Chairperson, Distinguished Delegates,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of WMA, ICN, FIP, FDI and WCPT, which together form the World Health Professions Alliance WHPA, representing over 26 million healthcare workers in 130 countries.

The WHPA welcomes the Draft Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, recognizing the crucial role of the health workforce (HW) in preparing health care system to manage the challenges of the future and achieve the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

The actual demographic trend indicates a high demand in HW and at the same time the existing HW gets older and retires. These changes on the supply and demand side will aggravate the actual shortage of the HW. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) requires a strong HW which is educated to address the Social Determinant of Health. UHC must be embedded in a holistic health care system with a focus on primary health care with close links to prevention, secondary, tertiary care and rehabilitation, as described in the WHO report 2008.

The increased incidence of cancer is a good example that different health professions with various degrees of specialization are needed.

WHPA echoes the statement made in the WHO strategy that investment in HRH has a growth‐inducing effect and health care itself is a strong pillar of any economy. A strong health care system not only delivers better health for the people, but also offers secure jobs, helps the country to better overcome economic crises and be prepared to respond to catastrophes.

With the trend of growing violence against the HW, WHPA highlights the importance of the right of health care workers to safe and decent working environments, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.

Thank you for your kind attention.